Tuesday, September 29, 2009


As far back as I can remember, there have always been romance novels around me. A whole bookshelf of them. On a coffee table, by the phone, the bathroom counter. Behind sliding glass panels, set on the higher shelves, and ostensibly “not for you, girl”, but on the whole, still accessible. I know, awesome parenting. They belonged to my mom, and naturally, being an avid reader, it was inevitable that I picked them up one day. (I doubt I was the only one of my siblings to succumb to curiosity. Mom, seriously, how could you not see that coming?)

Now my mom is a product of her upbringing and the conservative mindset of her generation (i.e. sex = taboo subject). Sex is not something we’ve discussed openly. But from the sheer number of those books in my house and after knowing first-hand how racy they can get, I kind of deduced that she must like reading them, and by extension, the sex too.

My mom, the sexually conservative by day, kinky liberal by…er, the reading nightlight! Very cool.

I didn’t like romance much, because I hadn’t read very many good ones (hatefuck is not a good way to introduce sex to a young girl). It’s only recently that I’ve come to terms with my guilty pleasure (finding a lot of pretty good ones helped), and I thought, well, at least that’s one thing we have in common.

So the other day, I was on Skype with my dear mother, who excitedly told me about some new books she bought – Sidney Sheldon and Nora Roberts. I was excited too, because she hadn’t been reading for years (coincidentally, since the onset of my adolescence), and this was the woman from whom I learned to read. We could get back on the same wavelength! Plus, sex and romance novels didn’t embarrass me anymore! Yeah okay, thriller/suspense is not my preference, but who cares, she was reading! And then,

‘I really, really like Sidney Sheldon! Not like Nora Roberts, with all the seXxx’ (Yes emphasis on the X, she says it funny)

:O :O :O

‘They’re not the same genre mom, you can’t compare them like that! …and you don’t like the sex scenes? Really?’ (Mind you, Nora Roberts is nowhere near explicit in Romancelandia)

‘Well no, not really’

‘But but but you’ve been reading them all these years! What do you do, skip them?’

‘Yeah, kind of’

(See, that has a distinctly less appealing ring to it. Though the acronym is alright I suppose. SSS!)

Don't ask me why she read so many of something she apparently dislikes. I'm still convinced decades of reading romance will inure anyone to it. She could be fibbing. IT'S OKAY MOM YOU CAN TELL ME